How Giving People a Sense of Belonging Helps Reduce Imposter Syndrome

Why Imposter Syndrome Is Caused by the Lack of Feeling You Really Belong Here

Ronke Babajide
7 min readAug 8, 2022


young woman sitting alone in a row of empty chairs looking unhappy while waiting in line at an office.
photo by @YuriArcursPeopleimages on freepik

Nothing is more draining than spending every workday dreading the moment it finally becomes clear that there was a mistake-living with the feeling that you weren’t really supposed to get the job-haunted by the nagging suspicion that it’ll soon become glaringly obvious that you’re incompetent and that you’ll be made to leave in shame.

What sounds like a bad dream is what imposter syndrome feels like.

Imposter syndrome is debilitating because it keeps you from giving your all in your job. It prevents you from believing that you can accomplish what you were hired to do. It causes you to hide the real you from your bosses and colleagues because you’re afraid they’ll see you and realize you’re just that — an imposter.

And although there are many articles now saying we should “ Stop Telling Women They Have Imposter Syndrome” and a lively discussion if imposter syndrome is real, many of us actually do feel we have it. It may not be a psychological condition or diagnosis, but it’s a real, lived experience for many of us.

We go through our workday feeling like we’re frauds and got the job out of sheer luck. Wondering if we’re really qualified to do it. I’ve talked to many women about this, and many have confirmed that they’ve suffered from imposter syndrome at some point in their careers.

75% of female executives across industries have experienced imposter syndrome in their careers

Is imposter syndrome caused by leaving your comfort zone?

When you start doing something new, get promoted, try to learn a new skill, or move to a new company, it’s normal to be a little anxious. You’re leaving your familiar world and striking out into the unknown. You might worry if people will like you, wonder if the job will be what you want it to be, and even fear that you’ll struggle in the beginning. But in general, it’s a feeling of nervous — positive — anticipation, not a sense of dread.



Ronke Babajide

Woman in TECH, Natural Scientist, Life Coach, Speaker, Podcaster, Founder, Feminist. Writes about Women, Feminism, Work, STEM, Personal Growth & Life